One of the many benefits of the SMF program is the Spring Quarter project we all get to work on with various Finance-related firms. The nature and scope vary to fit the interests and focus of everyone in the program. For those not familiar, we rank our preferences of which projects we would like to participate in, then we are assigned to teams (typically three students) and will work with these companies on a specific project for most of Spring Quarter.
Some of the companies involved are nationally renown – JP Morgan (2 projects), Wells Fargo (2 projects), and Nationwide. Others are major employers within the state of Ohio – Worthington Industries, STRS (State Teachers Retirement System), and of course, Ohio State. We actually have five projects tied to the university – two with the office of the CFO, two with the Wexner Medical Center, and one with OSU Technology & Commercialization. There are also projects from Lazear Capital Partners, Alpha Squared Capital Management, Diamond Hill Capital Management, and Perfect Practice (a medical start-up).
Generally, the projects focus on a number of the main topics we study in the program – trading, corporate finance, and investments. More specifically, we will be involved in real-world issues such as assessing M&A targets internationally, researching and acting on historical market trends, and helping to get a start-up firm off of the ground to name a few. With opportunities from asset management firms, securities research firms, pension funds, boutique investment banks, manufacturing firms, higher education, medical-related enterprises, and even start-ups, we are incredibly fortunate to have such a broad array of possibilities. Most of us are looking to get in to one of these specific fields, and partnering with a group of established professionals will prove to be invaluable experience to jump-start our careers.
Although the specifics of each project are confidential for now, I will continue to post about our experiences with this project throughout Spring Quarter.